You've Probably Been Storing Onions Wrong This Whole Time

If you don't use them very often, onions are one of those pantry staples that can be easy to toss on the counter and forget. Then, the next time you go to use one, you see sprouts coming out of the tops of these veggies. While some people might be able to get away with keeping their onions on the countertop, chances are that's the wrong place to store them most of the time. That's because onions need a very specific environment to stay at their best for as long as possible.

No, the chill chest isn't a great bet, either. The fridge is not a great place to keep onions because they can become soggy when the cold converts the starches inside to sugars, according to The Pioneer Woman. Instead, the best conditions for storing onions call for a dry, room temperature area with no exposure to light. And dry really is key, here. Placing onions somewhere where they might get damp can result in mold, which naturally means a bunch of wasted onions (via Bon Appétit). So be sure to place your onions in a place that's dry with some airflow but no sunlight.

Don't store similar vegetables with onions

Let's say you're trying to store onions so they will keep for several weeks or even a month. The problem here is that they like the same conditions that potatoes do (via The Pioneer Woman). However, you definitely shouldn't store onions and potatoes together. As they age, each type of vegetable actually encourages the other to break down faster which means you'll have a lot less time to use them.

It starts when onions release ethylene gas, which causes the potatoes to ripen quickly and then begin to rot. When the potatoes start turning, they cause the onions to also ripen and — you guessed it — rot. That's why you will need two separate storage places for these vegetables. Both spots need to be dry, dark, and have plenty of airflow to keep both veggies happy for as long as possible. If you think you're strapped for space, look around your pantry and kitchen and think again. You can even consider storing them in your garage, according to Bon Appétit.